Romance By Catherine: Interview with Editor Lea Schizas

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Interview with Editor Lea Schizas

Award Winning Author and Editor Lea Schizas has agreed to an interview from me today. Lea is wearing her editor hat that she wears over at Red Rose Publishing.

So pull up a chair and feel free to ask questions that you may have for my guest.

Thanks for coming today, Lea. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the publisher that you work for.

What can I say? I wear several hats for various venues. At Red Rose Publishing I am the Head Lines Editor, meaning I make sure the last stage of the editing process meets the deadlines and I collaborate with the art department to get the art work done for all books once they are finalized.

As for me, I’m a mommy of five children, two dogs, and tons of various types of fish. I joke most of the times that I finally woke up out of my self-induced coma of taking care of everyone else and now enjoying my passion – writing.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you like least?

I love the interaction with writers. It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve helped shape someone else’s writing before publication. Besides that, you end up with cyber friends, cheering and applauding their careers as they move along, and there’s nothing in the world that can connect you like that without even having met these writers as our great world wide web. So there’s one invention I’m happy for. I think I have about 5,000 cyber friends right now.

The least? Hmm
When writers don’t listen…
When writers say they approve changes and then you find they snuck the grammatical mistakes back in the manuscript…
When writers don’t follow guidelines…

Wow, 5,000 cyber friends is a boat load of people. Tell us, what are you looking for in a new author?

What every editor seeks – fresh material, twist endings that surprise me, a writer’s voice that is clear, vivid in portraying their fictional world, a writer who allows his character to paint each scene instead of the passive and telling narrator.

Writers need to remember there are thousands of other writers all vying for publication. It’s not the same thing to offer a similar storyline and simply change character names and occupations. A writer needs to stray a reader with a hook thinking the book will end up one way and then surprise. However, having said this, remember that surprising them means to tie in every single subplot smoothly – don’t surprise with a Dallas dream theme.

Careful... Dallas dream theme is kinda dating you... uh, and me. lol Where do you see e-publishing going in the next 3 - 5 years?

The e-publishing world is growing, and fast. When you see schools and libraries stocking on ebooks, big traditional houses offering ebooks…well, that kinda gives you a good idea where the ebook world is headed. I’m sure as soon as ebook readers lower in price, they’ll be a boom to this market.

If there was one thing about the publishing world that you could change... what would that be?

Oh, that’s easy – to respond that a manuscript was received and to send rejections. I really despise some houses that state ‘if you don’t hear from us in x amount of weeks, assume your book was not a right fit for us.’ If they don’t acknowledge receipt there is no certainty that it was received, thus a writer is left hanging. Writers are the backbone of publishing houses. I do know how many submissions pile on, but a form rejection letter sending a mass email to those who didn’t make the cut would take a few minutes. Perhaps it’s just me who tries to respond to writers and acknowledging their presence, but the respect you dish out is what you will receive at the end.

Amen to that, sister. What is your biggest pet-peeve when you're reviewing a manuscript?

My biggest pet-peeve is when writers rush to send a manuscript that clearly resembles a first draft. There are so many common mistakes within the manuscript that can be fixed before submitting that it’s not funny. This only tells me that the writer hasn’t done their homework to fully flesh out a manuscript. A character is not supposed to be portrayed as a stick-person. They need to ‘feel’ alive for a reader, with emotions, personalities, goals, upsets - the whole trials and tribulations path. A reader wants to ‘see’ the surroundings, smell the flowers/cologne/etc – using as many of the five senses without going overboard is another area so many lack to bring the book to a ‘realistic’ level.

Right now, Red Rose is closed to submissions but are accepting a few genres. We are strict with our guidelines so I highly recommend reading them carefully before submitting your work to the acquisitions editors.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us and giving the all important insight to an editors view.

For those stopping by, feel free to ask questions. Lea was the editor on my new release Soul Mate. Feel free *** plug, plug, shameless plug... to stop by Red Rose Publishing and check out what they have to offer.


Sandra said...

Thank you, Lea, for all the sage advice and insight! And, oh, you are so right about the ms acknowledgment - it's heartbreaking for an author to send and send and not hear that at least the work got there.

Helen Hardt said...

Always great to hear from editors -- thanks for sharing!

Catherine Bybee said...

Hi Sandra... I agree, not hearing is a heartbreaking and nerve wracking!

Hi Helen *waves

Nancy Famolari said...

As usual, a great interview with Lea. I think the world of ebook publishing is extremely exciting. Very much enjoyed your insights, Lea!

Cari Quinn said...

Really enjoyed this! Always fun to learn more about publishers I'm not as familiar with.

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Thank you, ladies, for stopping by. I'll be around all day and tomorrow to answer any questions if I miss any today.

And just to let you know...editors don't really bite, well, not hard at least. LOL!

Ginger Simpson said...

Great post, Lea. I always enjoy learning more about editing, and YOU! You continue to amaze me. :)


Catherine Bybee said...

Oh come on, Lea... you bite a little. hehe

Tell me about it Ginger. Lea makes the rest of us look like we're standing still. Talk about multi-tasking!

Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl said...

Lea, I am one author, now published by Red Rose Publishing who greatly appreciates the feedback you give. I had issues with punctuation I wasn't aware of, and rather than rejecting my works, you informed me about the errors, giving me a chance to correct them and now I'm truly published!
I can't tell you how much it means to me to have someone tell me what I did wrong so I can write...ah, right it.
Sincere Thanks For Your Input!
Franny Armstrong-ParaNovelGirl
Author of paranormal romantic suspense.